Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dogfighting operation in Orlando

Police seized eight pit bulls from what appeared to be a dogfighting operation, according to today's Orlando Sentinel. The article states that police went to the house where the dogs were discovered looking for a man wanted on a sex crimes warrant. The article also indicates that man was later arrested and charged with three charges of lewd and lascivious battery on a child younger than 16 and one charge each of battery and aggravated assault with a firearm. Additional animal cruelty charges may be brought as well.

While all the charges are still pending (and as of yet unproven) in this particular case, there is the general observation to be made about the link between crimes involving animals and other crimes. The knee-jerk response to animal crimes that we hear far too often is that the police, prosecutors, etc. should be focusing on crimes on humans. What people that make those statements fail to realize is that there is no neat division between the two, and in fact, where one type of crime exists, you'll often find the other. In any event, animal cruelty should be aggressively pursued. From the article:

Additional charges are pending, once veterinarians examine the dogs to determine the extent of the operation.

"We expect there to be felony charges because we take dog fighting as a very serious crime," said Vanessa Bouffard, spokeswoman for Orange County Animal Services.

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